New scheme to support evaluation of local authority interventions

Published: 9 September 2020

New scheme aims to create rapid research evidence to maximise Local Authority influence on health and inequalities.

Published 9th September 2020

The MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Science Unit is a partner in a new UK wide collaboration which has been awarded funding to pilot a new national scheme that will enable Local Authorities to rapidly evaluate work aiming to improve health and tackle inequalities in their areas.

The new government £1.5 million scheme has been awarded to a collaboration led by Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, in partnership with Queen's University Belfast, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Sheffield and the University of Glasgow.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has announced its funding for the Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Team (PHIRST), which will provide timely and accessible research to local authorities that are keen to have their work evaluated.

It is one of only four academic teams ready and waiting, fully-funded by the NIHR, to evaluate schemes that are happening in local government across the UK. The team will work closely with each local authority to co-create the evaluation, starting in September.

The PHIRST, led by Fuse Director Ashley Adamson from Newcastle University, brings together a team with many years of experience in working with local and national government, public health practitioners and communities to undertake research that can provide evidence needed to support policies and programmes.

The team will co-produce its first project in collaboration with Fife Council and Fife Voluntary Action to evaluate their citizen-informed design of employment support in Fife, which applies the Scottish Government’s most recent policy framework for tackling employment issues: No One Left Behind (NOLB).

To find out more about the PHIRST scheme please read this blog post by Dr Helen Walters, NIHR Public Health Consultant Advisor.

First published: 9 September 2020

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